My husband won’t watch Game of Thrones because he can’t stand the British accent, and by British he means British, Irish, and Scottish. Seriously. What kind of stupid reason is that? Everybody loves the British accent. He also is of the opinion when there is nudity on a TV show or movie, it is to get the male attention because it doesn’t have anything to offer. He’s kind of right, nudity is often used because of a lack of plot, characterization and other elements that give fiction substance.
But Game of Thrones the HBO series has it all: intrigue, cool dragons, terrific settings and costuming, intense characters, characters you admire, characters you worry about — which is stupid because they are after all make believe — characters you love to hate, and best of all sex and violence.
Oh yes, my husband is missing out on a really good TV series.
I on the other hand like the series so much, I decided to read the books. Not being much of a SciFi/Fantasy reader these are not the type of books I would normally choose. Personally, I am always looking for a good psychological thriller, like Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I like fiction that really gets into people’s heads which means written in first person among other things. So I rarely read the SciFi/Fantasy genre because of that and I’m too much of a realist to care about space aliens at war with vampires and space dragons. You know, crap like that.
Another reason, I decided to read Mr. Martin’s Game of Thrones series is to better understand what was going on in the show. After the first season, many of the relationships were unclear and reading the book did clarify certain details that by their very nature would be difficult to put into the TV drama. So far, the HBO series aligned with the books fairly well.
Even though the HBO series is excellent, my recommendation would be to not read the books unless you really love that type genre. There are several problems with Martin’s series that drive me up a friggin’ wall.
One of the problems is he has no compunction killing off key characters who are the good guys like Eddard Stark, later his wife, and oldest son. I’m just waiting for him to kill off Sansa and Arya, one of the dragons (that would be horrible), or my favorite Tyrion. He also kills off much too soon the characters we love to hate like Joffrey and Ramsey.
Another issue is that Martin has named every single character in the series of books of approximately 1000+ pages each. He has named characters even if their only purpose is to further the story along by being in one scene never to be heard from again. Worse, he names everything from kingdoms, horses, castles, ships, establishments, and even swords. He goes way overboard with the naming thing.
Every time I come upon a new name and realize this character will never been seen or written about again, my mind wanders from the story and I try to think how this author managed to conjured up all these names. Off the top of your head, can you come up with a thousand names? And how does he keep track of the names? Does he have a wall in his house dedicated to names and places in the book? Or does he use Excel to keep the names straight? I’m thinking if he is able to keep track of all those names in his head, this man has to be completely insane. Like maybe he should be writing in a padded cell.
Last, there is the problem of the long summers and long winters. I guess this story takes place on a planet very much like earth except that seasons last up to ten years. How is this even remotely possible? So I looked up some possible explanations which include the planet has some kind of weird wobble or maybe an elongated orbit. I was wondering if it actually orbited a red giant or something. But my explanation about the seasons is that George R. R. Martin is able to keep so many names in his head he doesn’t have room for physical science – not that a fantasy book is supposed to be scientific.